Media focus on racially charged shootings by police officers are partly to blame for the rioting and anti-police sentiment that have ensued in recent months, Bill O'Reilly said Tuesday on "Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor."
O'Reilly told his audience that "certain liberal cable news programs" are "hammering American police agencies over and over again," and the coverage is filtering down to young Americans and influencing how they interact with police.
He pointed to the Friday incident in McKinney, Texas, where a pool party that neighbors said turned unruly led to police showing up to restore order. One police officer, David Casebolt, was captured on video pulling his gun on two black teenagers and throwing a 14-year-old black girl to the ground.
Casebolt resigned on Tuesday.
The video, shot by a 15-year-old white boy, has gone viral worldwide and cast a shadow over American policing, O'Reilly said.
"Some people believe the cops in general are oppressors, especially towards people of color," O'Reilly noted.
He said that some of the teens in the video did not comply with commands and were disrespecting officers, but he also said Casebolt should not have pulled his weapon on the teens.
Still, he said, police are human too, and make mistakes.
"It's clear that there is a growing disrespect for police officers in some American neighborhoods and that attitude is going to lead to violence, he said. "If citizens don't obey the police and law and order completely breaks down."
If police are wrong, he said, that should be sorted out later.
But, he added, "Trouble that is being fueled by hysterical media anti-police zealots are given wide latitude to spew their hatred and irresponsible ravings" on some cable shows, he said. "That kind of rhetoric sinks in."
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